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On July 26th, the FBI raided Paul Manafort’s home in Alexandra, Virginia. The FBI seized documents and other materials from Manafort’s home in relation to the Russia investigation.
However, there are clearly questions that the FBI felt still needed to be answered. According to Politico, Federal Investigators approached Manfort’s son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, in an attempt to get inside his head.
Peter Zeidenburg, a former prosecutor for the Justice Department, commented:
“It is a big deal. Prosecutors do not take aggressive steps like this with subjects who the government feels are being open and cooperative. And they also do not do this to ‘send a message.’ They do it because they think there is evidence to be found and that if they do not act aggressively, it could be destroyed.”
The simple fact is that obtaining a search warrant usually requires investigators to have a rational reason to believe that there is evidence of a crime. Nor does the FBI execute warrants on cooperating witnesses, they don’t need to. What the investigation will prove cannot be known. Nevertheless, the President Trump’s Administration has cause for concern.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal statement. As I said, I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
North Korea has responded to Trump’s threat by threatening to strike the US military base in Guam. Unsurprisingly, Trump’s warning has many people concerned that a potential standoff between the two countries may devolve into a war. According to a CNN poll, seventy-two percent of Americans feel uneasy about potential conflict with North Korea. Despite this, the same poll shows that sixty-percent of Americans feel North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons is a threat that needs to be contained.
Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has warned that a full-blown war with North Korea would be “catastrophic“, commenting that it would be “more serious in terms of human in terms of human suffering than anything we’ve seen since 1953.”
A war with North Korea is unlikely, however. President Trump would need to seek the approval of Congress before he could launch an attack on the rogue nation. As Republican Senator for Alaska, told Erin Burnett on Out Front:
“One of the options that they’re looking at that would eventually materialise is a preemptive war on the Korean Peninsular launched the US. Well, that would clearly in my view require the authorization from Congress.”
North Korea has vowed to strike the US with “thousand-fold” revenge in response to recent sanctions imposed upon them by the UN. These sanctions came as a result of the rogue nation’s recent intercontinental ballistic missile launch.
North Korea’s official news agency, KCNA, has described these sanctions as “crimes” and as a “violent violation of their sovereignty.” Meanwhile, their foreign minister threatened at the ASEAN summit:
“There is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean.”
US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has vowed not to back down in the face of North Korea’s threats, telling Fox News that “we are not going to run scared from them.” As with all bullies, North Korea will only remain strong as long as they feel others are intimidated by them.
The British courts have blood on their hands. Today, Charlie Gard’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have dropped their legal battle to take their son to the United States for experimental treatment. According to the couple’s barrister, Grant Armstrong, irreversible muscle and tissue damage suffered by eleven-month-old Charlie has made it too late for the experimental treatment to have any effect.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates spent months fighting for their son, who received offers of help from Pope Francis and President Trump. Unfortunately, despite raising over a million dollars for his cause, time wasting by the British Courts have forced Charlie’s parents to switch off his life-support.
Charlie suffered from a rare mitochondrial disorder known as Mitochondrial DNA Depletion Syndrome. The condition left him paralysed and unable to breathe unaided. On June 30th, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against transporting Charlie to the United States and ordered his life support be switched off.
Charlie’s parents issued the following statement:
“This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to do, which is let our beautiful Charlie go. Put simply, this is about a sweet, gorgeous, innocent little boy who was born with a rare disease who had a real, genuine chance at life, and a family who loved him so very dearly and that’s why we fought so hard for him. As Charlie’s devoted and loving parents, we have decided it is no longer in Charlie’s best interest to pursue treatment, and we will let our son go and be with the angels. Our son is an absolute warrior and we could not be prouder of him, and we will miss him terribly. His body, heart, and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity, and he will make a difference to peoples’ lives for years to come, we will make sure of that. We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son, Charlie, who, unfortunately, won’t make his first birthday in just under two weeks time, and we will ask our privacy is respected at this very difficult time. To Charlie, we say, mummy and daddy, we love you so much. We always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you. Sweet dreams, baby. Sleep tight, our beautiful little boy. We love you. Thank you”
Charlie Gard’s case is one of the greatest examples of the evil which can be inflicted when governments and the courts are vested with too much power.
Monday night, Utah Republican Senator, Mike Lee, and Kansas Republican Senator, Jerry Moran, joined Kentucky Republican Senator, Rand Paul, and Maine Republican Senator, Susan Collins in announcing their refusal to support the motion to proceed on the latest Obamacare Replacement Bill.
Positively, the legislation would have axed individual mandates (which prevented health insurance companies from altering their rates based on the health of the individual), insurance subsidies, the expansion of Medicaid, and funding for Planned Parenthood.
The Republican mandate has faced strict opposition from both the Democrats and the public. According to an article published by National Review, the majority of the American public dislike individual mandates and desire lower health care costs over all health problems. In spite of this, however, the American public also dislikes attempts to roll-back coverage on pre-existing health conditions.
The Democrats, needless to say, have been overjoyed at the legislation’s failure. Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, stated: “I am delighted to see that the disastrous Republic health care plan will not succeed.” Meanwhile, the chair of the Democrat National Committee, Tom Perez, referred to the defeat as a “victory for human decency.”
Speaking from the White House, President Trump commented: “I am disappointed, very disappointed. For so many years I’ve been hearing ‘repeal and replace, let Obamacare fail and then everyone will have to come together to fix it.'” President Trump went on to say: “let Obamacare fail, it’ll be a lot easier, we’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you Republicans are not going to own it. Let Obamacare fail and then Democrats are going to come to us asking ‘how do we fix it?'”
Republican responses to the failed legislation appear mixed, however. Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, has made an executive decision to revive the Republican’s 2015 Obamacare repeal bill (originally vetoed by President Obama). The bill would repeal Obamacare over two years. But, as a 2017 Congressional Budget Office report points out, the repeal would leave thirty-two million Americans uninsured by 2026.
Other Republicans, such as New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, have suggested that President Trump abandon his focus on repealing and replacing of Obamacare and instead focus his energies on other priorities. In an interview with MSNBC, Christie commented: “I’d advise him to move on and move on to other priorities like tax reform and infrastructure. I’ve said that to the president for months. I don’t think there’s a will in Congress. I think they’ve shown that there’s no will in Congress for them to work with each other.”
In an attempt to find a solution to the issue, President Trump is planning to host a lunch at the White House with all fifty-two GOP Senators.